I believe the networks initiated through handmade things are essential to human communication. The act of sitting to eat or drink creates many little spaces within a day where there is possibility for small acts of communication between object and user. The intimacy of the interaction between the tools and the tool wielder is an intense private moment and more reciprocal than the we, the tool user imagines. Tools are working on us before we even touch them.
Take the teacup for example. Even the most unappealing collection of the "World's Best Dad" and supermarket cups in a melamine staff room cupboard alters our behaviour. As you reach for the "World's Best Dad" mug the handle dictates where you must pick it up from. The fact that very soon this clean cup is going to be in contact with your lips means that conventionally we never pick up a cup by it's rim. Already this inanimate object has changed out behaviour. The network of cultural and historical meanings embedded in a teacup has made us, the top predator, the tool maker react.
|Shannon Garson- porcelain rock pool teacup|